The Bottom Line
By Miriam Kaufman, MD; 285 pages. From the book cover: "Tens of thousands of teens have to deal every day with problems arising from their chronic disabilities. ... Dr. Miriam Kaufman addresses these challenges with passion and sensitivity, and relates to teens in an approachable way."
Not for the faint of heart, this book is all about giving unflinchingly frank replies to the kinds of questions teens are embarrassed to ask their parents (and parents, all too often, are embarrassed to answer).
- Good straightforward information
- Entirely nonjudgmental in administering advice
- Reminds parents that their kids have the same obsessions as "healthy" teens
- Offers insights from other teens with special needs
- Charts of drug interactions helpful
- Some parents may feel it's nonjudgmental to a fault
- You may not want your child to get some of this information from a book
- Not a good substitute for actually having these conversations with your teen
- Many of the Q&As are useful only to kids with the specific disability mentioned
- Reading it may make parents uneasy
- Chapter 1: Family Relationships
Chapter 2: Doctors & Medical Issues
- Chapter 3: Friends & Dating
Chapter 4: School & Work
Chapter 5: Alcohol, Drugs & Medications
- Chapter 6: Sexuality
Chapter 7: Recreation
Chapter 8: Transitions
- Appendix: Charts
Drugs That Can Cause Acne
Drugs That Can Cause Hairiness
- Medications That Can Cause Decreased Sexual Desire, Erectile Problems, Male Breast Enlargement
- Medications That Interact with Birth Control Pills
Some OTC/Prescription Drug Interactions
- Street Drugs and Their Possible Effect on Sexual Function
- Possible Effects of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Cocaine, Amphetamine, LSD Use with Medication
- Drugs That with PCP Can Lead to Seizures, High Blood Pressure, Fever, Muscle Destruction
- Other Combinations to Avoid
Guide Review - Book Review: Easy for You to Say
It's hard for me to know what to say about this disconcertingly detail-filled volume. As a writer and a guide, I can recognize that it's full of strong, straightforward information that will be of interest to teens trying to live a normal life despite illness and disability. As a parent of two teenagers, though, I'll admit that I'm discomfited by answers that go against the values I try to instill in my kids and what I'd consider, in my fogey-dom, to be age-appropriate.
If you're cool with handing your teen information on which sexual position is most comfortable for their handicap, which birth control methods interact with which meds, and how to go about getting pregnant if that's their wish, you may feel great about passing this resource on. If not, you may want to read it yourself and use it to inform the answers you provide for your child.
"Sexuality" is the longest chapter in the book, but there plenty of questions regarding family relationships, friendships, getting out and fitting in, and other concerns that are common to teens but more complicated to teens with special needs. It's undeniably useful for parents to see the sorts of worries their child may be having, whether or not they ever mention them to Mom and Dad. If nothing else, "Easy for You to Say" serves as a needed reminder to make sure your teen has someone to bring these questions to, and to be sure you're comfortable with the answers that source is going to give.